What is Number Portability?
Number Portability, refers to the ability to switch telephone service provider while keeping your telephone number with you. This time last year mobile phone subscribers in the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) member states were told that they could look forward to Number Portability in 2016.
During a break at ECTEL’s 77th Board Meeting in Basseterre St. Kitts, our Tech correspondent Russell Williams, took the opportunity to ask where are we with Number Portability?
“Like all the citizens of the ECTEL member states, we as the regulator were eagerly anticipating the launch of Number Portability for December 2016.” said Mr. Charles.
“It has been a very trying sort of year for us as we try to make progress on the various stages of the implementation.” Charles continued.
He indicated that some progress has been made in terms of the various stages of the process, and they have established agreements in principle, on some the rules for porting numbers. Mr. Charles also went on to say that;
“We would expect very soon to have approval on the mechanism for licensing the porting solutions provider.”
Telco’s Tardy in Providing Information
Mr. Charles also pointed out that the regulator is still awaiting information from the services providers.
“Where we have had some delays is from the service providers as far as giving us some assessment report on the readiness of their networks to implement number portability.”
Mr. Charles said that they were unable to give a time frame for completion, but indicated that the regulator had informed the Telco’s since late 2015 and early this year of the plans to implement number portability among the member states.
Mr. Charles said that the regulator had heard that there were some delays;
“I cannot reveal specifically what is the nature of the delay and how long it would take, but what it boils down to is that we will not be in a position to announce it as we had planned for December 2016. We are hoping that sometime before the second half of next year we would be able to make some definitive announcement on number portability.”
Listen to the full interview.